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Re: We need easier installation.

On Fri, Oct 23, 1998 at 10:46:13PM +0100, M.C. Vernon wrote:

> The problem is: who decides which are the good editors, and which are the
> good games and the good maths packages.....?
> vi and emacs are both feature-laden text editors, but most people seem to
> think that one is wonderful and one is err..... ;)

That is indeed the problem.  Of course, in your example, vi and emacs would
_both_ have a high rating because they're so popular.  But which vi, and
which emacs?  There are at least three vi's I know (nvi, elvis, vim) and at
least three emacsen (emacs19, emacs20, xemacs).  Some of these must be worse
than others.

It would be nice to have some kind of package popularity rating.  I'm not
sure how to do that well, but non-intrusively.  The FTP statistics might be
one way, but I don't know whether it gives an accurate impression of which
packages people like, or just which ones are installed on most systems by

Hey, here's an idea:  why not compare the last-access times of executable
binaries in each package?  The ones which have been most recently accessed
are the ones which are most popular.  The results wouldn't be very useful
for a single box, but over a large number of them, it might be statistically

We could have a Debian package with a cron job that e-mails a priority list
somewhere every night or every week... we would just need to ensure privacy
and validity of the results, somehow.  Of course, this would have to be
completely optional for each user.

To get an idea of how long it would take to run, try this command:

     ls -lu $(grep -h /bin/ /var/lib/dpkg/info/*.list) | gzip -c >/dev/null
and multiply the run time by two or three, ignoring all error output :)
It's pretty fast, anyway.

Hmm, I'm getting more and more interested by this... what does everyone


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